Jonah (Jackie)

Jonah (Jackie) Chapter 1, 2, and 3

OK,  so we’re doing this series on Jonah at church, which by the way has been awesome! Boy can I relate to Jonah in SO many ways! I think I have several Ninevehs but right now I will focus on one.

(Chapter 1) I have been having some issues with a neighbor and her children. They are a 5 year old boy and 7 year old girl. I don’t want to go into too much detail but these kids have been really tough to handle a lot of times! I could tell you story after story of things these kids have said and done in my yard. I had been as patient as I could be and tried to remember that what these kids were doing and all was not totally their fault. They lacked supervision, discipline and attention, that was obvious. Push came to shove and the straw finally broke this camel’s back and I banned them from my yard and my kids from theirs. I mean for goodness sake I didn’t want that kind of behavior and talk around my kids. By the way, just about everyone on my street has had issues with these kids in one way or another. Ok, so her and I went back and forth via the kids a few times each of us had threatened to call the cops if either kids were in our yards (real mature adults working things out LOL) I told you I was far from perfect!! I’m a little strong headed, ok bull headed and I was not stepping down from my position in this. Pastor Bryan had spoke about being a light in our community a while back and I felt a pinch about how I was letting my light shine for this single mother and her two kids. The pinch didn’t hurt too bad and I was able to reason it away..but God, you know how they were, I don’t want to have to deal with them again, sides that she’ll probably bite my head off, or say something stupid, etc etc..  Then Pastor B started the series on Jonah. That first week of Jonah I wanted to run out of that sanctuary. I was looking for a reason to get up and walk out. It was good but I was feeling a whole lot more than a pinch this time, more like a sucker punch!! But I managed to sit through the whole sermon, squirming, and then finally convicted and realizing that this woman and her kids were my Nineveh at this moment.

(Chapter 2) All that week I kept trying to figure out what to do…my inner being kept saying to go apologize, not attack her or her kids behavior, but my head kept saying no way! I’m not apologizing to her, I didn’t even do anything wrong. I had been running. This particular week was very stressful because of this situation. I was reluctant to let my kids outside when the other kids were out and that wasn’t fair..it was just a battle inside me with this whole thing and this whole thing was coming to a head soon one way or another.

(Chapter 3) I finally relented to God and said Ok, ok, I will go apologize. Just please be with me! I had looked for opportunity several times and it just didn’t present itself. I even went so far to go out the door to head over to their house but then another neighbor came out and then there were 5 kids in her yard so I just couldn’t do it. That evening I headed out the door to get my daughter from another neighbor’s house and I was walking and there she sat alone on her porch..without hesitation I went right over to her and told her I wanted to talk to her. For all I knew this woman was going to call the cops because I was in her yard or attack me or just verbally let me have it. Before she could say anything I told her that I owed her a big apology, by the look on her face I could tell she was confused! I went so far to apologize for the way I handled my part, I apologized for being judgemental towards her and her kids, and for alienating her kids. I never once mentioned to her about the kid’s behaviors or attitudes. I sincerely apologized for me. Anyone who knows me knows that God had to be all up in that, because even if I’m wrong I have a hard time admitting it. She accepted my apology and even returned one and we sat and chatted for awhile about life and kids. This woman is a single mother with two kids who works third shift. She may not handle things the way I think she should but WHO am I to judge her? The Lord then began to remind me of when I was a single Mom and doing some of the things I did. I have a lot more compassion for this woman and her kids now. That’s what God wanted all along. She doesn’t need judgement. She just needs to know people care, people take notice, she needs to see the love of God, not hypocrisy!

 So yeah, a work in progress! That’s me! I’m not perfect. I still have a long way to go but thank God I’m not where I used to be!!

 Thank you Pastor B for a great series and the way you brought it forth! This is just one of many that has really changed my life.

 Now on to the next Nineveh!

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5 Comments

  1. pastorb007 said,

    October 30, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    The Bible says that the Word became flesh when Christ walked among us. We are called to be like Christ in all we do. It’s not easy, but when we put feet to the Word of God by doing it people see Him in us.

    Thank you for being more than a listener.

    Look out Ninevah, here we come!

  2. October 30, 2007 at 8:44 pm

    wow, jackie! awesome post.

    i can so relate. i had a little boy in my neighborhood who was not exactly a great influence. about the time I was thinking of how to handle it he moved away. you think god spared me the pain resulting from how badly i would have “handled it”? possibly – but i think probably not likely. i think i just barely got out of that one by the skin of my teeth.

    it’s so hard when it’s your kids!!!!!!!!! thank you for being so honest. i think i need to spend some time thinking about how i will handle the next kid that comes around.

  3. candress said,

    October 30, 2007 at 9:44 pm

    Great life lesson. Thanks for keeping it real. I am gonna enjoy reading your stuff.

  4. jennifer said,

    October 31, 2007 at 1:13 am

    I know I can relate. There have been times I have had to go and apologize when me and the other person were in the wrong. Being salt and light is not easy, but if the world can see that we are real then we can make a difference. I can’t wait to read more!

  5. jennifer said,

    October 31, 2007 at 1:14 am

    ok so the time on my comment is way off it is only 9:14 pm


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